Synopses & Reviews
At a crucial moment in the Second World War, an obscure French general reaches a fateful personal decision: to fight on alone after his government's flight from Paris and its capitulation to Nazi Germany.
Amid the ravages of a world war, three men -- a general, a president, and a prime minister -- are locked in a rivalry that threatens their partnership and puts the world's most celebrated city at risk of destruction before it can be liberated. This is the setting of The Paris Game, a dramatic recounting of how an obscure French general under sentence of death by his government launches on the most enormous gamble of his life: to fight on alone after his country's capitulation to Nazi Germany. In a game of intrigue and double-dealing, Charles de Gaulle must struggle to retain the loyalty of Winston Churchill against the unforgiving opposition of Franklin Roosevelt and the traitorous manoeuvring of a collaborationist Vichy France. How he succeeds in restoring the honour of France and securing its place as a world power is the stuff of raw history, both stirring and engrossing.
"The Paris Game is a particularly engaging history of the Free French movement and Charles de Gaulle. It is both beautifully written and thoroughly researched. De Gaulle was a central actor in French and world history from 1940 until his death three decades later. He was both an enigmatic and controversial character. To this day historians still debate his role and legacy in the world of the late twentieth century. Ray Argyle deftly addresses these debates and gently guides the reader through them. What emerges is a compelling portrait of one of the great leaders of the last century. For the general reader looking for the one book to read about Charles de Gaulle, this would be it." William D. Irvine, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of History, York University, Toronto
"Ray Argyle is an author who writes exceptionally fascinating stories on social and cultural change." Neil Reynolds
"The Paris Game is a superb account of Charles de Gaulle's wartime career as the leader of France's resistance against the Nazi occupation. Ray Argyle's powerful narrative brings this transformational era to life with exceptional vitality and verve." Erna Paris, author of Unhealed Wounds: France and the Klaus Barbie Affair
"In retracing the legacy of Charles de Gaulle, Ray Argyle has chosen a road less travelled. His sources are not only de Gaulle's global family, but also his blood family. Not only Churchill and Roosevelt, but also his Canadian contemporaries. Argyle brings a new perspective on one of the 20th century's most controversial figures." Ted Barris, author of The Great Escape: A Canadian Story
It is tempting to say that Ray Argyle's well-researched, fascinating book reads like a novel, but that would be wrong. No novelist could invent such a protagonist. Literary Review of Canada
Long dismissed as a vain and arrogant self-seeker chasing glory, Charles de Gaulle is revealed in The Paris Game as a transformative figure of the twentieth century whose unflagging determination brings France back from defeat and saves it from the twin threats of Communism and dictatorship
About the Author
Ray Argyle is a journalist, the author of several books of biography and political history, and the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to Canadian life. During his long association with France, he has spent many years tracking the political careers of Charles de Gaulle and his successors. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Table of Contents
I - Days of Darkness: The Hand is Dealt
Chapter 1 - The Débacle of Paris
Chapter 2 - A Rebel at Heart
Chapter 3 - Into the Abyss
Chapter 4 - The Collapse of the Third Republic
II - Days of Defiance: The Wild Card is Drawn
Chapter 5 - The Appeal of June 18
Chapter 6 - Surviving the Swastika
Chapter 7 - Soldiers of the Empire
Chapter 8 - Wild Cards in Play
Chapter 9 - Warriors at Odds
III - Days of Might: The Bet is Called
Chapter 10 - Débarquement at Dawn
Chapter 11 - Return of the Fighting French
Chapter 12 - To the Barricades!
Chapter 13 - The Road to Paris
IV - Days of Liberation: The Stakes are Raised
Chapter 14 - The Liberation of Paris
Chapter 15 - Paris Exultant!
Chapter 16 - Getting Even
Chapter 17 - From Rebel to Ruler
V - Days of Glory - The Wager is Won
Chapter 18 - The Gamble for France
Chapter 19 - The Last Battle - “Algérie francaise!”
Chapter 20 - The Republic of de Gaulle
Chapter 21 - The Legend and the Legacy
Notes and Sources